Jeudi-Noir Open Doors at Place des Vosges - La Marquise

Article_jeudi Text: Joanna Bronowicka
Photo: F. Guillot

This Saturday, February 20, from 2pm to 8pm, the activists from an association Jeudi-Noir are opening doors of 1 bis place des Vosges. The building has been abandoned for 44 years until the activists from Jeudi-Noir chose it for a site of occupation to raise awareness about the housing issue in Paris. They have recently lost their case in court and were expected to pay a 10.000 Euros fine until January 25 for their occupation and 25.000 every month starting from that date. They have decided to appeal and ask for meditation with possible re-housing. Meanwhile, the building has become a rich cultural site, which hosts film screenings, rehearsals, meetings, seminars and workshops.  Every Monday the inhabitants propose a film screening about a different theme.

The program for tomorrow includes expositions of photos, paintings and sculptures with the support of artists from 59 rue de Rivoli, concerts, including the group Jolie môme, guided tours focused on the history of the building and much more. For more information visit the Facebook site of the association. Enter the building through 11 bis rue Birague, Métro Saint-Paul.

Ni Putes Ni Soumises Organizes a Protest Against the Burqa

DSCN1653 Text and images: Sarah Braasch

Ni Putes Ni Soumises (NPNS), a women’s rights organization located in Paris, organized a protest on Monday, January 25th, against the burqa and in support of an anticipated parliamentary bill to ban the burqa in France.  NPNS was created as a response to the egregious violence being perpetrated against the women and girls of the cités or quartiers in the banlieues (ghettoized suburban housing projects surrounding France’s major cities that are predominantly composed of marginalized Muslim immigrant communities).

The burqa is a full body covering while the niqab is a face covering, which exposes only the eyes.  The potential law to ban the burqa and the niqab in public spaces and buildings has been a hotly contested issue in France for many months. The Parliament has been investigating the matter, including the possible effects of a ban.  Recently, France’s Socialist Party, the opposition party, revealed their intent to vote against any law banning the burqa and/or niqab in public. 

More on: Ni Putes Ni Soumises Organizes a Protest Against the Burqa

Ni Putes Ni Soumises Organizes a Protest for Rayhana

DSCN1288 Text and images: Sarah Braasch

Rayhana, a French-Algerian playwright and actress, was attacked last week in front of the theater in Paris where she is performing her provocative play, “At My Age, I Still Hide My Smoking”.  Rayhana speaks out against Islamism and obscurantism and the Muslim culture of female oppression in Algeria.  Her play takes place in a hammam in Algeria and portrays nine women sitting together and discussing their daily lives.  The two men who attacked Rayhana grabbed her from behind, forcing her to the ground, and poured gasoline over her head and in her face, momentarily blinding her, and then attempted to set her on fire by throwing a lit cigarette on top of her head.  Prior to this incident, Rayhana had been harassed verbally.  Despite the attack and the threats of violence, Rayhana is determined to continue performing her play.  She has received many offers to stage performances from theaters throughout France, in response to this outrageous criminal act. 

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Prix Lumière 2010 Celebrate Engaged French Cinema

Welcome

Text: Joanna Bronowicka

This year the ceremony of the Prix Lumière, which took place at Hotel de Ville on January 15, 2010, celebrated French cinema for its ardent engagement in current political and social issues. The award for best film went to Welcome, a film by Philippe Lioret about a young Kurdish boy who tries to swim across the Channel to join his sweetheart in London. The release of Welcome put spotlight on the plight of refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan waiting in Calais to cross illegally to Great Britain. The film stirred a lively political debate and led to a creation of a shelter for unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan in Paris.

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Master Filmmaker Eric Rohmer Dies

Mynightatmauds1 Text: Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa
Image: My Night at Maud's, Eric Rohmer

Reactions have been pouring in after the announcement that director Eric Rohmer died in Paris on Monday, aged 89. French president Nicolas Sarkozy paid tribute “to the talent and truthfulness of a great auteur". Meanwhile, Prime Minister François Fillon paid homage to a "filmmaker of subtlety (…) who has for a long time been a classic of French cinema" and Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand praised "an all-round man of film and, at the same time, a perfect embodiment of the great bygone literary tradition of analysts of the heart".

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Vote for French Films Nominated for the Prix Lumières

620x1_322_vignette_lumieres_accueil3 On January 15, 2010 the international press will award the prestigious Prix Lumières to the best French and francophone films of 2009. The 15th edition of the Prix Lumières ceremony, chaired by TV5Monde journalist Estelle Martin, will take place in the Grands Salons of l’Hôtel de Ville. Like the American Golden Globes, the Prix Lumières which inaugurate the 2010 film prize season, are awarded to the best French and francophone artists by the foreign press correspondents based in Paris.

For a third year in a row, the ceremony will conclude the « Rendez-vous avec le cinéma français » piloted by Unifrance. Organized by the Académie des Lumières, founded in 1995 by Daniel Toscan du Plantier and Edward Behr, the 15th edition of the Prix Lumières is supported by Centre national de la cinématographie, Unifrance, Mairie de Paris, TV5Monde, Syndicat français de la critique de cinéma, Société de développement des entreprises culturelles du Québec and Commission supérieure technique de l’image et du son.

You can vote for the Prix du Public Mondial for the best francophone film on the TV5Monde website.

The 2010 Prix Lumières nominees are:

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“Closed due to a dead city, please go to a neighbouring capital.”

Nouveau_casinoText: David Britain

So reads the plea accompanying the petition to save Parisian nightlife. The petition, which was signed by 12,000 people in less than three weeks, was started as a last ditch attempt by club owners to stop the clampdowns on noise and police closures of venues and reduce the continuing decline of nightlife in the city. Everyone will have his or her own opinion on Parisian nightlife, but how bad is it really?

According to a report commissioned by the Maire de Paris the city’s nightlife excels when it comes to diversity, large events such as Nuits Blanches and historic nightlife spots. However the report found the city lags far behind London, Barcelona, Berlin and Amsterdam in every other way. This is not particularly surprising news. Paris is known for its history, its vast number of Museums, galleries and monuments, not for its nightlife. Club owners blame the conservative attitude of powerful residents and police harassment but the report also found that feelings of insecurity amongst revellers, the image of Paris as a museum city, expensive and infrequent transport and the strict and often aggressive door policies also play a role in making Paris the worst major city in Europe to be partying after 2am. The Marie’s response is to create a website and consider plans for ‘party zones’ in order to concentrate night-time activity in specific locations. Unfortunately it will take a lot more than that for Paris to be able to compete with other European capitals.

More on: “Closed due to a dead city, please go to a neighbouring capital.”

Mavis Gallant at the Village Voice Bookshop

Mavis gallant Mavis Gallant in Paris in the 1950s.

This Thursday at 7pm, the legendary Canadian writer Mavis Gallant, will deliver a reading from her new book The Cost of Living: Early and Uncollected Stories. The event will take place at the Village Voice Bookshop at 6, rue Princesse, Paris 6. Mavis Gallant is an acclaimed writer who contributes regularly in The New Yorker. The Cost of Living.... is an extensive new sampling of Gallant's short stories written between 1951 and 1971. The stories are set in locations as diverse as Quebec, postwar Europe, New York, New England during the Mad Man era, Germany, French Riviera and finally Paris, where Gallant has resided for many years.

Jhumpa Lahiri, who wrote an introduction tho The Cost of Living asserts that Malvis Gallant is "one of the greatest literary artists of her time." John Updike agrees, "Mavis Gallant's talent is as versatile and witty as it is somber and empathetic."Gallant's stories are at once satirical, lyrical, passionate and skeptical, perfectly calibrated and in constant motion, brilliantly capturing the fatal untidiness of life. As Alberto Mangue writes, "We come away from her stories with a keener knowledge of ourselves."


Maison des Métallos

Maison Anna Bromwich writing for VINGT paris, photo courtesy of G@ttoGiallo

Maison des Métallos is perhaps best described as a cultural venue with a social conscience. It’s various spaces stage exhibitions, theatre and concerts with strong political themes and host creative workshops for young and old alike. The Maison also holds public debates, philosophy lectures and collaborative events with local associations. It also supports creative and research projects which establish links with the local community.

This Brechtian mixture of the cultural used for social purpose befits a building which started life during the industrial revolution as the first factory to manufacture brass musical instruments. In 1936 it became the headquarters of the steelworkers union, thus inaugurating its current name. Until 1997, when the Mairie de Paris bought it, Maison des Métallos ran syndicate meetings, trade workshops for the disabled and unemployed and a clinic in much the same community spirit as it's contemporary incarnation.

More on: Maison des Métallos

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